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Soraida Martinez, Creator of Verdadism (download CV)

Women Working Together

Featured Painting

"Women Working Together"

Painting and Commentary created 1995 by Soraida Martinez.

"Women tend to be negative towards other women. Many women are very hard on other women, as if they themselves are misogynistic. I am appalled that a large number of women don't want to help each other. We are not going to progress and gain power in this world unless we all start helping each other and become more positive towards our own gender.”


©1995 Soraida Martinez

Contact me for more information on the artist or the paintings.  Click here for artist's CV. SoraidaMartinezBio2015

Note: All paintings and commentaries are copyright protected by the artist, Soraida Martinez. Do not copy, download or reproduce without written permission.

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Piano Man: The Survival of Hope

Piano Man: The Survival of Hope

"As a child in New York City, I walked by this one neighborhood church where I heard Piano Man playing gospel music which, to me, gave me the feeling of hope. And that's the subject matter of this painting: hope and the expression thereof. From the time that we are born, society places mental blocks in our paths which we eventually accept or condone. Despite these obstacles, hope is what gives us the potential to empower ourselves, to create our own truth and, ultimately, to choose our own destiny. In Piano Man, hope is symbolized by the musician whose image is one of striving to achieve against the odds. The hands of Piano Man, painted as blocks, represent the stifling forces of self-doubt...even though the blocks are really not in the hands, but in the mind. The bold colors are the life and soul of hope. The eyes challenge you, the viewer, to look within."

©1993 Soraida Martinez, Oil on Canvas, 36" x 48".

The Weeping Puerto Rican Cuatro Player

The Weeping Puerto Rican Cuatro Player

"We all know that Puerto Rico has an uncertain future. The Weeping Puerto Rican Cuatro Player  is weeping because of the uncertainty of the future of the island of Puerto Rico."

©1996 Soraida Martinez, Acrylic on Canvas, 36" x 48".

Between Two Islands

Between Two Islands

"I am a woman between two islands. I was born on Manhattan Island in New York City, where as a child I knew that I was seen as a foreigner and not accepted as an American. (Even today people assume that I am from another country.) But, when I went to Puerto Rico, I also found out that I was not accepted because I was born in New York City and mainly spoke English. Many Puerto Ricans born in the states have this dilemma."

©1996 Soraida Martinez, Acrylic on Canvas, 36" x 48".

La Latina

La Latina

"I was so surprised at the Latina Woman's response to my paintings that I painted La Latina. Many Latina Women of all different backgrounds (Puerto Ricans, Cubans, Mexicans and so on) have given me such a warm and encouraging response that I had to paint the aura of these Latina's approval. Of course, some Latinas have wanted to shoot me off the face of the earth and have said to me in many ways...'how dare you think you are worth something'. But I only remember the many positive Latinas that have inspired me so much to continue."

©1995 Soraida Martinez, Acrylic on Canvas, 36" x 48".

Feeling The Espanola, Africana and Taina in Me

Feeling The Espanola, Africana, and Taina in Me

"Puerto Rico has three different cultures and three different races: the Spanish, the African and the indigenous people, the Tainos. Most Puerto Ricans are a descendant from these three different backgrounds. It is so important to embrace this and enjoy the wonderful diversity of our culture."

©1994 Soraida Martinez, Oil on Canvas, 36" x 48".

Verdadism Painting

A Tribute to African American Women

"Throughout my art career, many professional African-American women have helped me by exhibiting my art in places that normally would not accept my art because of the statements that I make against racism, sexism and stereotyping. That’s why I felt that I had to paint about this very positive female experience. These African-American women not only supported me, they also inspired me to continue my Verdadism."

©2004 Soraida Martinez, Acrylic on Canvas, 36" x 48".

Verdadism Painting

VIEQUES: Hello...Hello USA...Are you there?

"It is appalling to me that bomb testing continues in Vieques. What type of a message is the US government sending to the Puerto Rican people...that we are not valued as human beings. All people should get involved in this matter; it is not just a Puerto Rican issue; it is a human rights issue. Puerto Ricans in the United States: let's wake up...we need to take action...it is very insulting to me and it should be to you. We need to voice our opinion on this matter. Human rights organizations: where are you? Environmentalists: is this any concern to you? This is happening right now.."

©2001 Soraida Martinez, Acrylic on Canvas, 36" x 48".

Las Three Puerto Rican Hermanas

Las Three Puerto Rican Hermanas

"Even though my two sisters and I are different in many ways and have taken different directions in life, we share a past pain and an unconditional love and respect for each other as women."

©1994 Soraida Martinez, Acrylic on Canvas, 36" x 48".

Puerto Rican Stereotype: The Way You See Me Without Looking At Me

Puerto Rican Stereotype: The Way You See Me Without Looking At Me

"Throughout my life, I have met lots of people that have never experienced meeting or getting to know a Puerto Rican woman. I have had some people admit to me their feelings on what they thought a Puerto Rican woman looked and acted like. Puerto Rican Stereotype: The Way You See Me Without Looking At Me is a satirical painting on the false information given to me by the media and other life experiences. The bowl of fruit on the head represents my childhood memories of Hollywood's 'Carmen Miranda' portrayal of women from Spanish-Speaking backgrounds. The tray in the hands is also from Hollywood's prevalent image of Puerto Rican women as domestic help. The bold colors show the stereotype of loudness that is assumed as to how Puerto Rican women dress. The obvious colorful female genitalia shows the Puerto Rican woman's place in society as ornaments."

©1992 Soraida Martinez, Oil on Canvas, 36" x 60".

Interracial Family: The Way Society Sees It

Interracial Family: The Way Society Sees It

"This painting is about the second marriage of my mother to my stepfather, who died six years ago. My stepfather was a Puerto Rican of African ancestry, while my mother is a fair skin Puerto Rican of Spanish ancestry. As a teenager, I always liked to observe people and evaluate situations. I remember the looks they both got when they would walk into restaurants and other public places. But the worst part was when my stepfather was dying and I overheard a nurse joke to another nurse that she didn't know that my mother was his wife because "she's white and he's black."

©1992 Soraida Martinez, Oil on Canvas, 36" x 60".

Creativity

Creativity

"I find that creativity is unpredictable and it comes when you don't call for it. When you least expect, it is like a spiritual visitor that catches you by surprise and stays around for as long as you interact with it...and you never know when it is going to depart."

©1996 Soraida Martinez, Acrylic on Canvas, 36" x 48".

Deja Blues

Deja Blues

"Sometimes, I am so happy that I am able to express myself; at other times, I feel like I am stuck in a big bucket of blue paint and it is so hard to get out. My art and my life are intertwined; one affects the other."

©1996 Soraida Martinez, Acrylic on Canvas, 36" x 48".

Feeling Like a Cockroach

Feeling Like a Cockroach

"Feeling like a cockroach who has been stepped on: half-crushed and half-alive. That's what domestic violence made me feel like."

©1995 Soraida Martinez, Acrylic on Canvas, 36" x 48".

I Found It Hard To Be An Individual

I Found It Hard To Be An Individual

"All my life, I have felt different. Most people have wanted me to look and act like them, but I have always (somehow) kept my identity; and many times, I was not accepted because of this. Being a true individual in this country is looked down upon...as if thinking or looking different is a major threat. I have had many people tell me that in order to succeed you must go with the flow or people will not like you."

©1995 Soraida Martinez, Acrylic on Canvas, 36" x 48".

Labeling is Social Lynching

Labeling is Social Lynching

"Throughout my life I have carried lots of labels and I have had to struggle against labels that have more than one meaning. For example, the word "minority" has one meaning, which has taken on many bad connotations. When one is put into a category or niche, one is literally filed away and one has to fight in order to get out of that box. I am totally against labeling because this is another way that society lynches your individuality and deprives you of opportunity."

©1994 Soraida Martinez, Acrylic on Canvas, 36" x 48".

Latinos Have Power and Most of Us Don't Know It

Latinos Have Power and Most of Us Don't Know It

"Latinos need to organize and vote in numbers. Many Latinos feel powerless because they have not been able to unite. We need our men and women to work together for positive change. Our greatest concern should be in making sure that our children are educated."

©1996 Soraida Martinez, Acrylic on Canvas, 36" x 48".

La Vida Es Dura Para Una Mujer Como Yo

LaVida Es Dura Para Una Mujer Como Yo

"This painting reflects my feeling of grief at the lack of acceptance and recognition of the Puerto Rican woman, who is virtually invisible in the media and mainstream America."

©1993 Soraida Martinez, Oil on Canvas, 36" x 48".

Mixed Feelings

Mixed Feelings

"When I talk to people about my concepts and try to promote thinking-for-oneself, I get mixed feelings. That's because I come across close-minded people that make me wonder whether I'm headed in the right direction. Most people choose to have others think for them. I have found a common element in most people is that they are afraid to think beyond...into the abstract. Sometimes I wonder...and I realize that to think for yourself is to come to a conclusion...and that may make one have mixed feelings about one's life...which may make one face one's own reality."

©1995 Soraida Martinez, Acrylic on Canvas, 36" x 48".

Mother and Child: First Toxic Relationship

Mother and Child: First Toxic Relationship

"Even though the relationship with my mother was my first toxic relationship and, as a teenager, I was angry at her for never giving me a birthday party and telling me that I was ugly and stupid and teaching me not to like myself for being Puerto Rican and female, I realize that poverty and a lack of education had much to do with this. Leaving Puerto Rico for New York City, where she faced discrimination and had a hard time speaking the English language, and with a husband that verbally and physically abused her, I saw that my mother must have been bitter and felt hopeless. I saw that my mother was a child raising six children in New York City, where it's generally tough for even those that are very well-educated and wealthy. Now, when I talk to my mother on the telephone, we have a reverse role of mother and child. I tell her about my accomplishments and how I have struggled and achieved and I can hear in her voice that she's excited and proud. At other times, I tell her that my struggle is becoming difficult and I feel like giving up and she becomes sad and tells me how she had a dream where she saw me as a well-known artist and that I looked beautiful in her dream. This is her way of telling me that she loves me and not to give up. I realize that my success is her fairy tale ending to the hard life that she has led."

©1995 Soraida Martinez, Oil on Canvas, 36" x 48".

Not Knowing Which Way To Go

Not Knowing Which Way To Go

"The feeling that life is pushing you one way and you want to go the other way: deciphering this feeling has been very frustrating to me and I try to go with my heart, while often ignoring the practical thought process. This painting is about that human feeling we all come to at a point in our lives which, ultimately, may alter our destiny."

©1995 Soraida Martinez, Acrylic on Canvas, 36" x 48".

Nurturing The Child In Me

Nurturing The Child In Me

"At an early age in life, I learned how to comfort myself. This is a very important aspect of life and everyone should learn how to do this. Many people lack emotional support; learning how to give that support to oneself, when needed, is an important survival technique. I feel that in order to live a happier, more productive life, one first has to learn how to nurture oneself."

©1995 Soraida Martinez, Acrylic on Canvas, 36" x 48".

PMS Blues

PMS Blues

"I painted PMS Blues to capture the puffy, out-of-sync feeling that I and many women experience once a month. I created this painting on a day that I felt this way. For many years, male doctors have told women that it was all in our minds. It was always very real to me."

©1995 Soraida Martinez, Acrylic on Canvas, 36" x 48".

Portrait of Carl Sprengle

Portrait of Carl Sprengle

"My studio is located in what was once a paint factory; Carl came over one day because I was designing a brochure for his company. Carl told me that he worked in the paint factory when he was very young and struggling, which was about fifty years ago. I thought to myself that Carl was standing in the full circle of time. Carl has many interests and he is a very smart, analytical man. As I talked to Carl, I felt as if he kept stepping backward and forward into time. I kept hearing bits and pieces of Carl's life story that were very enlightening and I realized that Carl had achieved much in his life and this was very inspirational. For some reason, I was there to see this full circle of time in Carl's life."

©1996 Soraida Martinez, Acrylic on Canvas, 36" x 48".

Self Effacing Woman

Self Effacing Woman

"Most women become self-effacing when they marry and start using a man's surname. They take a different identity, as if their identity wasn't good enough. I have noticed that most women tend to put themselves down and live through men. Many women leave their profession when they get married, as though their profession was only a second-hand goal and their man's profession is far more important. Many single women also do this to themselves. They too think it is not polite to have a goal or to list their credentials and that they are not important unless they have a man. And when women don't do this to themselves, society does this for them. When you walk with a man, people automatically think that he is going to pay or that he is going to make the decision or that he is the smart one. So, a woman has to be strong enough to not be self-effacing. Let's list our accomplishments and let other young women know that they too can stand alone and contribute to our society and make a mark in this world and not be self-effacing."

©1995 Soraida Martinez, Acrylic on Canvas, 36" x 48".

Speaking to the Labeled Kids

Speaking to the Labeled Kids

"In America everything is labeled...especially our kids. The school system is full of labels: our slow learners; our special-ed kids; our minority kids; our high-IQ kids; our low-IQ kids. Many children are introduced into this world with a label on their back. Unfortunately, when a child is faced with a label, he or she has to either live up to it or live down to it...which is very toxic to a young mind that is just being developed. Through my art, I try to let kids know that labels are just labels. That I too had many labels placed on me, which I overcame...and that they too can overcome their labels."

©1995 Soraida Martinez, Acrylic on Canvas, 36" x 48".

The Battle of The Rice and Beans

The Battle of The Rice and Beans

"I am appalled at the times that I hear Latinos speaking about other Latinos and saying that certain Latinos are not as good as other Latinos. Many Latinos buy into the media hype that there are some Latino groups who come from a different country that are better-educated and better role models for America. This to me is another way of bringing bigotry to a segment of the population that is already discriminated against and has enough problems to deal with. Because we speak Spanish and we have a similar culture, Latinos share a very common experience in the United States. We should not divide ourselves with the same stupidity and prejudice that many of us face."

©1997 Soraida Martinez, Acrylic on Canvas, 36" x 48".

The Terror of Demasking Oneself

The Terror of Demasking Oneself

"In this society, we have been conditioned to be what people want us to be. We, as individuals, are afraid to be individuals. That's because American society, which is based on democracy, is actually not so open-minded when it comes to new ideas or different races; and, as human beings, we all know that. Therefore, many of us have the terror of demasking ourselves. Most of us would rather die than let someone really know us...perhaps, because of the fear of rejection or a lack of awareness. So we live a "so-so" life: never being ourselves; sleeping and wearing our daily masks; always afraid of being awakened."

©1995 Soraida Martinez, Acrylic on Canvas, 36" x 48".

When Money Gets Ugly

When Money Gets Ugly

"Some people lose perspective of the concept of money. Many people that have more money than they need tend to want more or want to keep it all for themselves; they act as if these little pieces of green paper are "holier than thou." Looking away from people in need, they lose friends and family members over money. And because they have the fear that someone may ask them for some of their money, many times they become isolated. They let the very thing that buys them freedom become the keeper of the prison in which they choose to exist."

©1999 Soraida Martinez, Acrylic on Canvas, 36" x 48".